Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
  • 10 Best AWD Cars & SUVs Under $25,000
  • 2014 Compact SUVs
Go

2011 BMW X3

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 BMW X3 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

The original BMW X3 "Sport Activity Vehicle" debuted in 2003, and was one of the pioneers of the luxury small crossover craze, influencing brands like Acura, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz to follow in their footsteps. But the years took their toll on the X3. Although it continued to improve year after year, without a full redesign, it began to look a little less fresh compared to the competition's newer crop of vehicles. Here's the good news: That all changes with the 2011 BMW X3. It sports a fresh look, a sporty - but not overly harsh ride, and a host of new luxury and convenience features.

You'll Like This Car If...

If the 3 Series Sedan is a favorite but you'd like something with a hatch, an easier load-in height, and just a hint of ruggednesss, the X3 is worth a look.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Front and rear legroom are not one of the 2011 BMW X3's strongest suits. And, although the last generation X3 offered a manual transmission, this compact crossover only now comes in automatic transmission flavor, potentially upsetting diehard manual fans.

What's New for 2011

The 2011 BMW X3 offers more of everything: It's larger, more refined inside and out, comes with more standard equipment, more power underhood...and, in xDrive28i form, starts for less than the previous generation.

Driving the X3

Driving Impressions The X3, more so in this second-generation, is truly a taller 3 Series Sedan. And we mean that in a very positive way. With a sporty (but less harsh than...

the first generation) ride, great steering feel and the same 2.8-liter and twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6s found in the 3 Series Sedan, this crossover is sure to please the enthusiast in your soul. The manual transmission has been dropped for this generation, but the eight-speed automatic is no slouch, and offers paddle shifters along with Sport and Sport plus driving modes (which also adjust the chassis and throttle/steering responses) for those looking for a little more sportiness in their life.
Favorite Features

Driving Dynamics Control
This optional system allows you to modify shock absorber firmness, engine throttle response, transmission shifting characteristics, power steering feel and stability/traction controls to suit your tastes. Choose normal, sport or sport plus to change how the X3 feels based on the road or your mood.

Head-Up Display
Available as an option, this system projects navigation directions and the speed the vehicle traveling onto the windshield, providing the driver with essential information without taking their eyes off the road.

2011 BMW X3 Details
Interior

Inside the 2011 BMW X3, you'll find tasteful wood trim, intuitive audio and climate controls, and comfortable, supportive seats. You'll also notice the standard iDrive and 8.8-inch information screens, an electronic parking brake as well as the same futuristic-looking automatic transmission shifter (you'll know what we mean when you see it) that's been introduced across the lineup. Although the 2011 BMW X3 sports larger dimensions, front and rear legroom isn't exactly generous.

Exterior

Although the 2011 BMW X3 still shares the same wedge shape as the previous generation, this new incarnation sports a much more muscular, rounded look. The headlights and fog lights have been pulled to the sides of the vehicle, the kidney-shaped grille is more robust -looking, and the wheel arches are aggressively flared. To borrow a word from the German product presentations we so often see, the X3 design is an exercise in "dynamism." We couldn't agree more.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Mechanically, the X3 xDrive28i comes with a 3.0-liter in-line six engine mated to an automatic eight-speed transmission and puts power to pavement via a standard all-wheel drive system and 17-inch wheels. Inside, you'll find eight-way power front seats, silver matte trim, leatherette seating surfaces, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, HD Radio and the latest and greatest version of iDrive - which is much easier to use than previous iterations. The xDrive 35i ups the ante with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged in-line six, xenon adaptive headlights, chrome tailpipes, 18-inch wheels and Siena interior wood trim.

Optional Equipment

You can equip your X3 with niceties like heated seats, a navigation system, premium audio, leather seating and a panoramic moonroof, but perhaps the coolest option is to custom-order your car and watch it being built via a video from BMW. Opting to custom order makes other perks available including interior and exterior color choices not available on dealer's lots and the opportunity to fly to the BMW factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and take possession of your shiny new car. If you're feeling ambitious you can also can put your new car through its paces on both a race track and an off-road course across the street from the factory at the Performance Drive Center.

Under the Hood

The 2011 BMW X3 offers two engines: a 3.0-liter in-line six that produces 240 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, and a 3.0-liter turbocharged in-line six that nets 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to a responsive eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode; Sadly, the manual transmission offered in the previous generation is not an option for this new iteration. BMW's third-generation intelligent all-wheel drive is standard across the lineup.

3.0-liter in-line 6
240 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
221 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2600-3000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25

3.0-liter in-line 6 Turbocharged
300 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1200-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 BMW X3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 37 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

excellent driving vehicle-engine is terrific

By on Saturday, April 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Excellent car with perfect quality so far-easy to drive with excellent engine performance. Interior design is excellent."

Solid, handles great

By on Thursday, April 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, very quick"

Cons: "none so far"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Very solid performer. Comfortable seats, intuitive electronics. Great leather, paint and storage. Plenty of room on back seat for tall people. Impressive MPG... been averaging 22 in town."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Solid, handles great

By on Thursday, April 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, very quick"

Cons: "none so far"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Very solid performer. Comfortable seats, intuitive electronics. Great leather, paint and storage. Plenty of room on back seat for tall people. Impressive MPG... been averaging 22 in town."

after 8 months, going to get rid of it

By on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,500

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "performance"

Cons: "user controls, navigation, I-drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Worst user controls, worst navigation, plagued with engine warnings. twice after returning to the car, the engine is running. Car rattles and creeks. The I-drive is awful. Sorry I bought this car. The engine performs well, and transmission is smooth, You will hate the auto engine shut off. The dashboard and I-Drive controls are terrible. They couldn't possibly have focus grouped the user controls. This is my seventh trip back to the dealer. The engine warning light is on many times."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Loving my 2014 BMW X3 28i

By on Sunday, March 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Excellent drive, well crafted interior, safe"

Cons: "Some bugs in onboard computer, blind spots"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I just leased a 2014 BMW X3 28i, and this is definitely the best car I have ever driven. The car deserves an almost perfect score. I would have liked to have rated this car a 9.5 overall, but I had to settle for a 9 given the rating system on KBB. So here's the good stuff. The drive of the BMW is simply outstanding. The X drive system offers sport, comfort and eco modes which offer three very different but excellent driving experiences. The sport drive makes you feel like you are piloting a Porsche, and even the 4 cylinder version of the car has incredible torque. The comfort drive is likewise excellent, although you can clearly distinguish a 4 cylinder from a 6 cylinder version. But you do get better mileage. The eco mode offers a bit less pep than the other driving modes, but the MPG goes way up. Since I leased the car three months ago, my MPG has averaged about 21 MPG, with more town and city driving versus highway driving. During longer highway drives, I have gotten 30-35 MPG consistently. The steering is crisp and responsive and the breaking is taught but not overbearing. The BMW driving experience is simply superior. My car is relatively new and I have experienced no major reliability issues despite a brutal winter in NJ this year. The interior of the car is something special. The leather finish is outstanding and the styling of the dashboard is excellent. The iDrive system is fantastic as well. I highly recommend the Navigation system which is unreal. The computerized dash is truly powerful and wide in scope. The only downsides I can think of with the car is that the dashboard computer can sometimes be buggy (i.e. clearing pre-set radio channels randomly), and also the car has blind spots on the driver side given the positioning of the rollcage."

11 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Awesome car for families

By on Sunday, February 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,990

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive, spacious"

Cons: "tailgate doesn't close with key"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This car is great for families on the go! The car drives great and I can always rely on it to take me where I want to go! If you need a luxury midsize SUV, this is the one!"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?